By Aramata Jatta
The Gambia Truckers Association yesterday converged at the Semega-Janneh hall in Talinding to discuss the weight bridge at the Denton Bridge and other issues affecting their as truck owners and drivers. The Truckers Association threaten a sit down strike if their demands are not met.
Afrique passage Gambia limited, is a Senegalese company responsible for the axle load control on temporal weighing site, 8 weigh bridges are said to be signed but only one was constructed at Denton Bridge along the Banjul-Serekunda highway
GTA is demanding government to terminate the contract with the Senegalese company thus making the bridge solely owned by Gambians.
The Association pledge to refund Afrique passage all investment in Weigh Bridge and take control of the Weigh Bridge relocating it from Banjul to Mandinaba. The GTA will have a profit sharing scheme with the government of the Gambia by paying 20% to the government and take ownership of the bridge.
Speaking at the meeting Abubakar Bensouda the Secretary General of GTA affirmed that the charges imposed on them were very expensive, and that was what prompted their meeting with government so as to reduce the tariffs. Government according to the Secretary General accepted to reduce the tariffs from D1, 800 to D350 per ton.
Among key issues raised by members of the association is the awarding contracts to foreigners over Gambians. This they described as huge hindrance to the economy of country as it shifts controlled to foreigners instead of Gambians.
Adhering to the above the mentioned issue of non-awarding of contracts to Gambians, the association decided to register its members. As a measure to ensure that any unknown vehicle which is awarded a contract in the Gambia, drastic measures will be taken to address the matter.
They implore on government to give early notifications before any increment in the price of petroleum and driven license are pronounced. GTA Threatening that if their demands are not agreed upon by the government all passenger vehicles in the country will go on a sit down strike.
Attached bellow were the demands of the Gambia Truckers Association
• The weight bridge should be moved from Denton bridge to Serekunda so as not to increase cost of living in the Kombos
• Create parking area close to weigh stations
• Use total vehicle gross weight and not individual axles meaning if a particular 1qaxle is overweight but total gross weight is fine no charges will be applied.
• 25% tolerance
• Vehicle height limit 4.85 and not 4.50m
• Weighting charge for transit trucks D500.00.
• Weighting charge for local trucks D150.00
• Penalty for transit vehicles D500.00 per ton
• Penalty for local vehicles D200.00 per ton
• Waves charge for trucks that carry sand and red stone so as not increase cost of construction.
By Aramata Jatta